Krishnappa Gowtham
Krishnappa Gowtham
Twitter @CricIndeed

Off-spinner K Gowtham's eight-wicket haul helped Karnataka beat Tamil Nadu by 26 runs in a thriller on the fourth and final day of in its opening Ranji Trophy Group 'B' match here on Thursday.

Requiring 181 to post a win after conceding the first-innings lead, the home team was all out for 154 in the second innings.

Tamil Nadu lost its final wicket when Gowtham trapped K Vignesh leg-before for 4 sparking jubilation in the Karnataka camp.

It was a brilliant performance by the off-spinning all-rounder after Test star Ravichandran Ashwin (4/46) had brought Tamil Nadu back into contention by picking up four wickets to help the team bowl out Karnataka for 151 in the second innings.

Tamil Nadu suffered a setback after a bright start to the chase with openers-Mukund (47) and Murali Vijay (15) putting on 49 runs in quick time with some positive batting as they lost three wickets in the space of four runs.

The run-out of Vijay by substitute fielder R Samarath sparked the slide as his quick pick-up and throw caught the experienced right-hander short of his crease.

The dismissals of B Aparajith (0) and R Ashwin (2), both leg-before to Gowtham, hurt Tamil Nadu.

A lot depended on Mukund and first innings centurion Dinesh Karthik but the former went after an enterprising innings, caught by Karun Nair off Gowtham.

Karthik was done in by a superb delivery by Gowtham to be bowled for 17.

His exit and the fall of skipper Vijay Shankar (5), caught brilliantly by Ronit More, pushed Tamil Nadu into more trouble.

Though the lower-order showed fight, Gowtham kept striking at regular intervals.

Karnataka had beaten Tamil Nadu in the finals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy (50 overs) and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (T20) coming into this encounter.

Earlier, Ashwin and K Vignesh got among the wickets to restrict Karnataka to 151.

Resuming at 89 for 5, the visitors lost 'keeper BR Sharath for the addition of only four runs.

At 119 for 7 and in danger of being bowled out for a below-par score, Karnataka found a saviour in Gowtham who smote two big sixes in his 22 (33 balls) as it helped take the total past the 150-mark.

Tamil Nadu next meets Himachal Pradesh at Tirunelveli from December 17 to 20.

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